Part IV: The Wintertur House Tour

 

The du Pont House Tour at Winterthur © Britt Conley

The du Pont House Tour at Winterthur © Britt Conley

Winterthur, the du Pont family home, is huge with six floors of amazing antiques, culture, lifestyle and family. The imposing exterior gives no clue into it’s interior, except that it must be formidable.

Winterthur © Britt Conley

Winterthur © Britt Conley

The house tour is simply too big and with too many informative moving parts to do it justice. So here’s just glimpse into what awaits when you get your tickets. Here we are staring in the main dining room. This central room to the du Pont entertaining lifestyle was decorated by Henry du Pont himself. This was the formal room where dinners were served. Most of them began with Diamond Back Terrapin soup which was du Pont’s favorite.

The du Pont dinning room © Britt Conley

The du Pont dinning room © Britt Conley

The du Pont dining room is full of patriotic items from paintings to tankards made by Paul Revere.One of my favorite paintings at Winterthur hangs here in the dinning room. It is Benjamin’s West’s portrait of American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations with Great Britain.

The du Pont dinning room © Britt Conley

The du Pont dinning room © Britt Conley

What is really neat about the household management is how it is divided in many cases by room. The candle room is a perfect example of this. It’s a shame the tour goes so quickly because I would have loved to have lingered and seen more details within the collections.

The Candle Room © Britt Conley

The Candle Room © Britt Conley

Winterthur is also home to many historic plate collections. This set was Martha Washington’s.

Martha Washington's past © Britt Conley

Martha Washington's Dinner Ware © Britt Conley

One of the great collections for me is all the tea sets! A great tea is hard to find.

Tea in the Marlboro Room © Britt Conley

Tea in the Marlboro Room © Britt Conley

The other interesting serving set-ups are the ones used for the du Pont’s caviar, a favorite for parties here. The table is set with cigarettes, martinis and of course the plates for the warm toast points.

The Caviar served to perfection © Britt Conley

The Caviar served to perfection © Britt Conley

The du Pont’s were big on entertaining as you can see. Part of that was turning the interior courtyard into the feel of a public square by filling it with a collection of American house facades. The du Pont’s then used this area to show movies at home.

The courtyard © Britt Conley

The courtyard © Britt Conley

The facades here are an amazing collection that were taken down from their various locations from North Carolina, Rhode Island, Massachusetts. and Delaware and rebuilt brick by brick within this large room.

The indoor courtyard © Britt Conley

The indoor courtyard © Britt Conley

Another family room is the Marlboro Room. According to Winterthur it’s, “paneling and most objects… are more than 200 years old” This room however was used as the modern living room where people would gather to talk and take tea. It was also where everyone would gather each year to open their Christmas presents.

The Marlboro Room © Britt Conley

The Marlboro Room © Britt Conley

Yet another gathering spot is the Chinese Parlor room which is covered with Chinese, hand-painted wall paper from the 1700′s. The wall paper is as originally created in size and not cut. The area over the doors and windows were hand painted to the continue the look of the paper, as though uninterrupted.

The Chinese Parlor © Britt Conley

The Chinese Parlor © Britt Conley

Among other things, this room is where card games were held.

Card Games © Britt Conley

Card Games © Britt Conley

One of the big features of the house is the grand Montmorenci stairwell. Du Pont purchased the tremendous 1822 stairwell from the home Montmorenci in North Carolina and had it reinstalled here at Winterthur. The stairwell goes up numerous flights and must be amazing to look down through!

The Stairwell © Britt Conley

The Stairwell © Britt Conley

We also get a first hand look into the daily private area of the du Ponts, including their bedrooms and private rooms. They had rather simple rooms for these areas in comparison to those open for quests.

Mr. du Pont's and Mrs. desks © Britt Conley

The writing desk of the du Ponts © Britt Conley

The Empire room features the beauty of Empire styled furniture and other decorative items. The music instruments and chairs are wonderful.

The Empire Room © Britt Conley

The Empire Room © Britt Conley

If memory serves, it was in this room I turned to find the amazing John Trumble portrait of George Washington, the other of my favorite paintings here. It is of George Washington with his horse as he inspects the troops at Verplank’s Point in 1782.

One of my favorite paintings here is of George Washington with his horse as he inspects the troops at Verplank’s Point in 1782 by John Trumble.
The other of my favorite paintings is Benjamin’s West’s portrait of American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations with Great Britain (1783‒84).
George Washington by John Trumble

George Washington by John Trumble

Well there is so much more but alas, a bit under the weather today and it is getting late. This Bee needs her sleep. For more information regarding the amazing house, museum and gardens that are Winterthur, visit http://www.winterthur.org

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. Today’s Featured Post: A note from the road: Today’s shoot at Wintertur
  2. Today’s Featured Post: Part I: Yuletide trees at Winterthur
  3. The Photo Garden Bee Tour visits Walt Disney World!
  4. The Quarry Garden at Winterthur
  5. Winterthur’s Peony Garden

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